It’s Not Just About Olive Oil

This obsession with olive oil stems from two things: the romantic notion of the Mediterranean diet being the healthiest, and the indoctrination over a period of decades that saturated fat is bad for us.

The definition of a Mediterranean diet is very vague indeed but does invoke agreeable thoughts of holiday food, sunshine and unspoilt peasant life redolent of a simpler, more wholesome era. Whilst olive oil is undoubtedly better for us than most vegetable oils like palm, sunflower and the like, there are a number of other fats which are beneficial.

Coconut Oil has suddenly become flavor of the month, which could lead to cynicism about it being a "fad" food. In fact Coconut Oil, containing medium-chain saturated fatty acids, is at last coming out of the wilderness. Those of us in the know about ketogenic, healthy diets have adored this fat for some years, even when it was only available online from specialist suppliers, and not on every supermarket shelf country-wide. Meanwhile the US corn oil industry succeeded in demonising it for many years whilst they fed super-artificial "frankenfats" to the American population.

Saturated fat, pilloried for decades as a consequence of Ancel Keys' flawed studies, is not bad for us at all. We have a tremendous uphill battle to convince people that solid fats like butter and lard are actually a beneficial part of a healthy diet. Years and years of propaganda have to be overcome: conceptually, people can just about get the idea of a low-carb diet. That's hard enough: then they imagine the diet is that beloved of many body builders: dry, tasteless skinless chicken breast and tuna.

The next terrifying (but also comforting) concept people must grasp is that the healthy low-carb diet is actually high in fat and only moderate in protein. Keep the skin on that chicken, and melt butter over it too!

Imagine that, a whole new world of tasty food and optimum health!